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Why We Fired David Schultz Rentals

posted at 11:46 am
on Feb. 26, 2005

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Susie and I are now managing our own property in Pasadena.  It was a six-month process to get to this decision, but we finally hit the last straw and fired our property manager.  The company we had hired to property manage, David N. Schultz Rentals, Inc., just couldn’t actually do what they promised, namely, you know, manage our property so we didn’t have to.

Now, maybe this was because we own a single family home, not a 20 unit building, but whatever the case, they seemed very interested in working with us, but things fell apart almost before they started.  Let’s start at the end, though.

With all the rains in Los Angeles, our roof showed signs of a leak.  We’d had a leak previously, and had had part of the roof repaired last year.  But we weren’t surprised when a new one sprung up, in the dining room, the master bathroom and the living room.

Our tenant called the fellow who was responsible for the property, Jerry, but he flaked on responding, and promptly quit the company.  This was in late December.  I sent an email to DNS in early January asking them if all was well at the house because I’d heard nothing bad, and I just wanted to make sure that they were paying extra attention to the house given all the rain.

The email I sent bounced, because they’d shut Jerry’s address down.  That was how I found out that our contact had left the company.

Jerry apparently had two underlings working for him, one was a guy named Jeremiah.  Jeremiah was the contact for our tenant John.  Jeremiah had been doing a very bad job over the previous few months of responding to John.  John would call and leave messages, and Jeremiah would take a long time to get back to him.  One time he came over to fix the toilet tank, and started to fix it, and left in the middle of a repair and never came back for two weeks.

Anyway, Jeremiah turned out to be someone Jerry found, and was never under contract with David Schultz in the first place.  How odd is that.

Oh, but back to the roof.  So I said they should call my roofer pal, Ramirez, to come out and fix the roof.  They asked if they should get their roofer to give me a quote as well, and of course I said yes.

Well, come to find out this month that their roofer came out and fixed the roof on his visit, without giving me a quote first.  The contract I have with them explicitly states that they won’t do any work over $250 without getting a quote first and giving me the option to approve the work, as long as it’s not an emergency.

The part that’s super bad, is that for the past month or so, they’ve been trying to get a quote from Ramirez, or at least that’s what they told me, because my contact there now, Jenny, was as surprised as me, she says, when she received a bill from their roofer.

The list goes on.  They screwed up paying my gardener so many times that he quit.  It took me five emails to them before they finally got the pool service billing transferred to their name.

They also, on the latest bill, tried to charge me for several hours of Jeremiah’s time, completely without justification or explanation, and this is a month after they supposedly terminated their contact with him.  It all speaks of some pretty massive disorganization.

In their defense, every time we called them or emailed them, they were courteous.  And every time we pointed out a problem or a mistake, they tried to fix it.  David Schultz himself came over when we initially called about the possibility of hiring them.  And he went to the house recent to photograph and inspect the leaks.  Of course, that was only after WE alerted him to the fact that they hadn’t returned phone called from the tenant complaining about leaks.

They also haven’t, you know, made off with our money or let the house burn down or anything.

It’s just that, well, if I’m going to have to check in several times each month and make sure the gardener is coming, make sure he’s paid, make sure he’s paid the right amount, make sure that they’re checking on the place in case of massive bad weather, etc. etc. then what exactly are they doing for me?  Basically, providing a buffer between me and a bad tenant, and our tenant is a fine guy.

So now Susie and I are going to handle the place ourselves, occasionally asking our L.A. pals to drop by and take a picture or two.  Thank god for email, and adios, David Schultz Rentals!



Previous entry:
Mixed Nuts

Next entry:
Chicago Business Trip


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